How Overeem situation affects everyone else

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Let’s move out of the Overeem bubble for a second to see how this affects other people. First and foremost, there is Dos Santos, the classy and clean champion who has no idea who he will be fighting on May 26. Then, there are fans interested in buying tickets who aren’t quite sure what they’ll see when they arrive in Las Vegas. Then, there are the few fighters who may be in line to possibly step in and face Dos Santos. And finally, there is the UFC, who cannot promote one of their biggest events of the year because they are in a holding pattern.

Admittedly, at this point, it is a problem of the UFC’s choosing. They could pull Overeem out of the fight if they wanted to, after his first test showed a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 14:1. They’ve done it with both lesser and similar transgressions. Late last year, they removed Nick Diaz from a title match for missing two press conferences. In February 2011, they removed Thiago Silva from a proposed bout with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson after Silva’s sample from a January drug test was detected to contain non-human urine. At the time, there were still three months to go until the May fight date, but they didn’t bother to wait around for his B-sample result or hearing. So there is precedent. It’s just that the UFC has decided to play the waiting game and hope for the most beneficial result.

If that sounds like Overeem’s getting the superstar treatment, it’s because he is. Even if it’s to the detriment of anyone else. At least Dos Santos has stood up for himself. On Wednesday, he told Brazilian news site Globo that he wants to know “as soon as possible” who his opponent is. That’s only fair. After all, he is the champion. He has done nothing wrong, yet he is in as big a state of flux as anyone else. That hardly seems just.

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